Students and staff join UN campaign for human rights

Students at De Montfort University Leicester (DMU) are certainly not tongue-tied – they’ve recorded a video celebrating human rights in more than a dozen different languages.

The United Nations’ Add Your Voice campaign asks people to record an article in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights in their native language. Recordings are shared around the world to promote education and knowledge around human rights.

You can watch their video here:

The video was created by #DMUlocal after they learned the UN was set to launch a year-long campaign on Sunday which will culminate in celebrations of the 70th anniversary of the adoption of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

It has been sent to the United Nations and shown in New York and video clips featuring DMU students will be featured on the UN’s Wall of Champions online.

Students were queuing up to take part in the video after learning about the project. Many said they had been inspired by the recent 24-hour vigil for human rights held at DMU.

Helen Gebrai and Deborah Timehin are third year Psychology students. Helen said: “I feel like it’s important for everyone to be aware, recognise and understand that everyone has human rights.”

“I did a speech at the vigil, and I’ve been to Thailand teaching and I’ve seen the difference education can make,” said Deborah. “That’s why I wanted to talk about education in the declaration.”

Shanika Simon-Thomas, who studied Drama and English, said: “I think the video will be even more powerful coming from students. I took part because DMU’s vigil made me feel like I wanted to do something more.”

Arts and Festivals Management student Kate Askew said: “I’m a member of Amnesty International and I very much feel that if you have the ability to do something, then you have the responsibility to do it.”

Vivian Nwagboso, who is studying Biomedical Science, read the article concerning slavery in Igbo, a Nigerian language. She said she wanted to take part to highlight the human rights abuses that were happening today. She said: “People are being sold as slaves today and that should not be happening in 2017.”

Part of #DMUlocal’s commitment to the community is sharing the skills of students and staff to help others. This includes supporting refugees and asylum seekers in Leicester through health and education programmes.

In January, volunteers will be travelling to New York to work with refugee charities in the US, and finding out how it can better support the refugee campaigns of the United Nations.

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DMU’s Public Engagement Manager Mark Charlton said: “We were overwhelmed by the response from students and staff wanting to take part in this video.

"Many of them said they had been moved to contribute after joining DMU’s recent 24-hour vigil for human rights which discussed issues facing people around the world and how we could help.

“This was a great opportunity for our students to show their commitment to the public good and human rights ahead of our work on the UN Together campaign, which will be launched at the UN headquarters in New York next month to promote safety and dignity for refugees and migrants.”

•    If you’d like to join the Add Your Voice campaign you can find out how by clicking here.

Posted on: Friday 08 December 2017

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